Case study

Improved Charcoal Cook Stoves & Charcoal production from Waste Saw Dust




CookClean Ghana Limited (CCL) is a social enterprise manufacturing and distributing efficient charcoal cooking stoves – the CookMate – in Ghana. It has built a plant to manufacture briquettes. Its ambition is to make improved cook stoves relevant, accessible and affordable for 1.25 m households by 2020, freeing family income of ~US$300 million.

Project Description

CookClean Ghana Limited is a social entrepreneurship with a mission to improve social, environmental, and economic conditions for low and medium-income families in Ghana to consequently save and improve the lives of women and children. Mission & Vision Statement– CookClean’s mission statement: “To Protect and Save Lives and Our Forests”Ghana represents a vast market for efficient stoves given its heavy reliance on charcoal produced from a disappearing forest resource, resulting in constantly increasing fuel costs, coupled with a rapidly growing population. CookMate© Stove brings many advantages to low and middle income families in rural, urban and peri-urban areas: 1) Easy to use, Fast in cooking, Gentle cooking, Attractive, Robust, Not susceptible to breakages 2) Less charcoal use up to 50%, thus reduced fuel bill freeing disposable income 3) Mitigate health hazards i.e. IAP respiratory disease, pneumonia etc. 4) Cooking convenience – cooking without the spread of ashes during cooking due to ash containment 5) Reduced deforestation thus safeguarding future step charcoal price increases 6) 1 year product warranty 7) 1 year accident & permanent disablement and medical insurance cover Stoves are sold to end users and distributor/retailers on cash basis. CCL has just recently begun to pilot a project where credit financing is given to selected women groups. The non-availability of credit facilities hamper stove uptake and deter production scale-up.


CookClean customers are low- and medium-income earners, primarily in rural, urban and peri-urban areas. • Domestic consumers purchasing the stove for household use • Commercial consumers – street-food vendors • Institutional consumers on behalf of their employees.


Based on stove performance and sales projections we expect cost savings of approximately US$300 million for mostly low-income households by 2020. These funds will be freed for spending on health care, education, and essential products. Users, especially women and children, will enjoy significant health benefits from reduced indoor air pollution. Approximately 100 quality jobs will be created. Over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 have been avoided to date and 8 million are expected by 2020. This is tied to reduced destruction of forests for fuelwood, generating significant biodiversity and environmental benefits. Women, the main users, as retailers are a key part in the distribution and delivery of after-sales. The business employs women in key management positions as well as 4 in the stove production process. We aim to increase our female work force through attractive working conditions.

Business Model

CookClean’s mission is “To Protect and Save Lives and Our Forests”. By providing an efficient cook stove, indoor air pollution, forest degradation is reduced and families can hugely improve their livelihood through fuel savings. CookClean (CCL) manufactures a highly engineered cooking stove, suitable for the African context. Independent tests have shown a market-leading 52% thermal efficiency. In 2012, activities were registered with the UNFCCC to gain Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs).

Lessons Learnt

According to the Ghana Living Standard Survey GLSS6, Ghana is said to have 6.1 million households; over 84% using biomass as a main source of fuel. A study conducted for Global Alliance established that: Ghana is facing rapid deforestation which results in high (and increasing) biomass fuel prices. The three main marketers of Gyapa-style improved cook stoves together account for less than 5% of the total cook stove market. Other types of improved charcoal cook stoves are only starting to be promoted. There are no cook stove programs for woodstoves that have reached scale. The study shows that there is room for improved cook stoves to develop and gain acceptance in the Ghanaian market.

Key Feature

The project is a template for replication for entrepreneurs within Ghana and Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Liberia-having the same conservation benefits. The profits from the projects shall be re-invested in setting up such projects in other regions. Nicholas Manu- 80%, Dr. Dominique Manu-15% & Erasmus Osei- Essah- 5% of total shares of 9,100. CCL benefits from a multi-year purchase agreement for CERs ~ EUR 2.5 million.Also, funding from BioCarbon and ClimateCare of US$1.2 million.AUS$150,000 loan from a private investor. A Catalytic Grant of US$46,000 from Global Alliance towards capital equipment and personnel. Fuel savings and health benefits rely on independent testing and studies. Stoves sales are accompanied by collection of user data for tracking stove use and monitoring customer satisfaction. Stove usage is additionally verified by UNFCCC auditors to compute fuel use savings and consequent reductions in emissions and deforestation.

Other significant information

The CookMate© Stoves are locally manufactured ensuring a certain extent of brand loyalty over the more expensive imported rocket stoves. CCL sells the stoves in 4 different sizes from 40 GHS (US$11.43) for the small ‘bachelor’ stove up to 70 GHS (US$20) for the ‘Extra Large Stove’. The CookMate© stove goes with 1 year accident & permanent disability insurance (1000 GHS (US$285.71) and Medical Expenses 120 GHS (US$34.29). The insurance coverage is for accidents including snake bite. CCL has a carbon offsetting agreement with the Swedish Energy Agency, which is being managed by Climate Care. The agreement specifies that CCL will receive approximately EUR5 for the first 500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions offset, which equates to EUR 2.5 million and for proportionate delivery up to end of 2018. In field tests it was proven that the CookMate© was approximately 50% more efficient than the traditional Coal Pot stove; this was then additionally verified in subsequent water boiling tests.

Implementing Actor

CookClean Ghana Limited (CCL) (Private sector)